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Jamaat ud Dawa HQ taken over by Pakistan government

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad | January 25, 2009 19:22 IST

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Coverage: Mumbai Terror attacks

In a major crackdown, Pakistan government on Sunday took control of the sprawling headquarters of the Jamaat -ud- Dawa, a front organisation of the LeT blamed for the Mumbai attacks, in Muridke near Lahore [Images].
    
Khakan Babar, recently appointed by the government of Pakistan's Punjab province as the Chief Administrator, took over the JuD's Markaz-e-Taiba headquarters at Muridke, about 30 kms from Lahore.
    
The process was completed in the presence of Lahore's Commissioner, the district police chief, an official of the
Auqaf or religious affairs department and a police contingent. Babar will supervise and monitor all activities at the JuD's headquarters, Dawn News channel reported.
    
Babar, his eight-member staff and about a dozen policemen will be housed in the Markaz-e-Taiba complex that includes a school, a college and a hospital.
    
A spokesman for the Markaz-e-Taiba described the appointment of the administrator as a "takeover" done under
international pressure.
    
Pakistan's Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik had said the JuD was banned shortly after the UN Security Council declared it a front for the LeT in December 2008. However, diplomatic sources told PTI that the Pakistan government had not yet issued any formal notification banning the group.  JuD chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and several other top leaders of the group are currently under house arrest. Their detention was recently extended for two more months.
    
But, there have been reports that Saeed and other JuD leaders were allowed to move out of their homes on several
occasions.
    
The Pakistan government has claimed that a total of 124 members of the JuD and other banned extremist groups have been detained while dozens of JuD offices have been sealed across the country.
    
However, the government has said it can take legal action against the JuD leaders only if India provides proof of their involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks [Images].    

Ajmal Kasab [Images], the lone surviving terrorist captured during the Mumbai strikes, had revealed during interrogation that he and nine other attackers, who were killed by the Indian security forces, had received training at the LeT camps in
Pakistan.




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